Cinnamon Colomboscope 2015 - brought to you by EUNIC Sri Lanka
Friday 21 August 2015 15:00 to Sunday 23 August 2015 21:00

The City. Identity. Urbanity.

From its origins as a small trading port named ‘kola amba tota’ or ‘Kolontota’, Colombo as we see it today, is yet again at the brink of bursting into being. At this moment in history, as Colombo changes and grows as if overnight, it is important to reflect on what ‘change’ means for those that live in it.  

Cinnamon Colomboscope 2015 focuses on the broad questions that define Colombo as the capital of Sri Lanka – a rapidly growing, gleaming city with shiny new pavements and leafy parks and an urban soul to match. Is it a microcosm of all that is Sri Lankan, or is it becoming a city unto itself set apart from the rest of Sri Lanka? What is the importance of capital cities in the economic, social and political life of modern societies? Underneath its gloss what shadows remain? The sessions will approach Colombo through the psychological and emotional responses of its people to its urban transformation. It will explore emerging patterns of urban space; urbanity and expression through the arts; the formation of urban networks through information and technology; the challenges of urban transformation in planning sustainable cities; and how the violence inherent in upheaval affects identity, behaviour and belonging.

Over fifty people, including sixteen visiting experts will contribute to this edition of Colomboscope. They will be from various disciplines, including authors, architects, artists, journalists, actors, directors, musicians, economists, corporate and business leaders, innovators, gourmands, political commentators, city planners and citizen historians

Cinnamon Colomboscope Talks, explores the dynamism and spirit of this place that we inhabit, the character of its denizen, and all that this city - our Colombo - has to offer.

Day Session time Title Description
Friday, 21 August 2015 03.00 - 04.00 p.m. Preview: Cinnamon Colomboscope Talks The City. Urbanity. Identity
An introductory reading and book signing by British- Jamaican- Chinese author Kerry Young and Indian writer Naresh Fernandes
Saturday, 22 August 2015 08.00 - 09.00 a.m. Walkabout: Slave Island A brief walk through Colombo 2 - the changes, the people and the places seen though the eyes of a city-walker, Asoka Mendis de Zoysa 
  09.00 – 10.00 a.m.
The City as a Character: Dystopias, utopias and all that is in between British-Jamaican-Chinese author Kerry Young and Indian writer and journalist Naresh Fernandes read from their novels and explore how they chose to represent cities. Author Ashok Ferry moderates.
  10.15 - 11.45 a.m. 
(Urban Development)
Future Cities: The balancing act How do progress and urban development balance the needs of infrastructure, transportation, housing and rapid growth with people, environment and sustainability? Lawyer and political commentator Gehan Gunatilleka in conversation with architect Madhura Premathilake, urban planner Remo Burkhadt and Chairperson of the Western Regional Megapolis Project Ajitha De Costa
  12.00 noon - 01.00 p.m. City Lives: how to tell their story… Prolific British satirist Jonathan Coe and celebrated French author Eric Reinhardt read from their novels and explore the use of humour and satire in writing about the lives and aspirations of  'city people’. Director of the British Council in Sri Lanka, Keith Davies moderates.

01.15 – 02.45 p.m.
(Colombo Economies)

Capital What is the story of Pettah as a driver of capital in the city? Does investment into the City match the interest in it?  Is there a widening gap between Colombo’s commercial Capital and the rest of Sri Lanka?  This panel is an exploration of the many economies of Colombo, as a ‘capital’ city and a driver of capital. Economist Deshal De Mel talks to Vijay Nagaraj, researcher at Centre for Poverty Analysis, Sancheevan Mahendran, a businessman based in Pettah for generations, and the Chairman of Board of Investment in Sri Lanka (BOI), Upul Jayasuriya.
  03.00 - 04.00 p.m.
(Social Media and technology)
Mobility:  Creating Space  The creator of Groundviews Sanjana Hattotuwa and science writer Nalaka Gunawardene explore technology and innovation in the context of becoming ‘active’ citizens, and in the politics and the language of belonging. Advocate Priyanga Hettiarachi moderates.
  04.15 – 05.45 p.m. 
(Identity and Belonging)
Colombo Folk: Identity and rootedness in an ever-changing city Author Ashok Ferry, photographer and city-walker Halik Azeez, and citizen historian and civil servant extraordinaire Deshamanya Bradman Weerakoon explore the identity of Colombo people, and how where you live may determine who you are. What happens when Colombo changes and people move from where they belong - who are they then? Author and publisher Ameena Hussein moderates.

06.00 – 08.00p.m.
(Gender, sex and sexuality)

Metro/ Sexual An exploration of gender and sexuality in Colombo curated by actor and director Tracy Holsinger. Contributors include Dr.Dayanath Ranatunga, Eric Reinhardt, Indu Dharmasena, Grassrooted, Shanuki de Alwis, Equal Ground and Mind Adventures Theatre Company.
  08.00 - 11.00 p.m.
(Curated Dinner)
Food Cultures: Living to Eat  As Colombo aspires to be a cosmopolitan city, how has the ‘idea’ of food and how we consume it changed? Curated dinner at Café Francais with culinary and wine experts Catherine Obrenovic and Laure Oger, and French author Eric Reinhardt.  
Sunday 23 August 2015 08.00 - 09.00 a.m. Walkabout: Slave Island  A brief walk through Colombo 2 - the changes, the people and the places seen though the eyes of a city-walker, Asoka Mendis de Zoysa
  09.00 – 10.00 a.m.
Lifestyles: Living well in the city  Is being 'urbane' all about appreciating food, clothing and design? Food blogger and Australian Master Chef Alumna Natasha Shan and Founder of the Academy of Design and Sri Lanka Design Festival, Linda Speldewinde share their views on Colombo’s lifestyles, fashion and food scene. Creator of Indi Samarajiva moderates. 

10.15 – 11.45 a.m.
(Media and representation)

Realism, Reportage and Representation  Political cartoonist Gihan de Chikera, British satirist Jonathan Coe and Indian journalist and Editor of, Naresh Fernandes explore how they strive to represent and question the realities of the cities in which they live through new media, satire and cartoon? Journalist Smriti Daniel moderates 
  12.00 noon – 01.00 p.m.
(spirituality and religion)
Spirituality in Urban Transformation As Colombo grows bringing in its wake the anxieties and tensions of a modern city, what role does spirituality play in the urban search for meaning? Stockbroker-in-search-of-spirituality Navin Ratnayake talks to breatharian Rev. Kirby de Lanerolle and counsellor and meditation teacher Rev. Upatissa Thero
  01.15 - 02.45p.m.
(visual art)
Archival Scenes and Shadow Histories International curator Natasha Ginwale talks to Colomboscope artists Lucy Skaer, Alexandra Navratil, Susanne Winterling, Agnieszka Polska and Liz Fernando about art, public expression and narratives of cityscapes.
  03.00 - 04.00 p.m.
Conflicts of character: Sensuality and violence in cityscapes President of India's largest book club, Literati, Sumeet Shetty with British-Jamaican-Chinese author Kerry Young and celebrated French author Eric Reinhardt, explore the darker sides of characters, the cities they inhabit, the passions that drive them and the conflicts that shape them.
  04.15 – 05.45 p.m.
(Society and Culture)
Surviving ‘the arts’ evolution: music, poetry and theatre, and the challenges of tradition versus modernity With urbanization the aspirations of the city-dweller changes. How do changing social identities of class and what is perceived as high culture challenge the emergence of sub-cultures, experimentation, and the fusion of tradition with modernity? In this context, how do ethno-cultural identities contest for survival?Australian-Sri Lankan re-migrant to Colombo's art scene Larry T Hill, Tamil rapping sensation Krishan and internationally acclaimed actor Kaushalya Fernando in conversation. Actor and Director Peter d'Almeida moderates.

06.00 – 09.00 p.m.

(Urban music)

Kacha! Kacha! Exploring ‘urban music’ through a mash-up of Colombo’s sub-cultures including Sinhala, Tamil, English rap, urban poetry and acoustic guitar. Curated by musician, blogger and poet Imaad Majid this brings together Drill Team, Buddhi and many others)